Nationally and Internationally published staff photographer with the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin with a Bachelor in Science in Visual Journalism from Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara.
Twelve year U.S. Army veteran with two tours of duty to Iraq.
What a amazing turn of events. I wake up early March 24, 2016 and find a email from Reuters asking me if I want to photograph U.S. Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders that same day in Yakima, Wa..
Not only is it 2 hours away, I also work that evening. (sigh) I call my boss and ask him if he wants to shoot it since I have a football game to photograph. The great thing is, he was totally cool about it and let me go shoot.
So here comes the prepping. What do I need to do to prepare?
First, download PhotoMechanic since it wasn’t on my work laptop. Get my lens selections down, including a Nikon D700, 24-70mm ƒ2.8, 70-200mm ƒ2.8 and a 70-300mm variable lens. Notebook, extra pens, two card readers (in case one fails), and two cell phones.
I get there 3 hours early to set up, and get through Secret Service. They are nice to be honest. Treat them with respect, listen to their directions and you don’t get choke slammed…
Once I got setup, it went by quick. Set up on top of a step ladder and nailed some photographs of Bernie Sanders as he walked in saying hi to the local chapter of Native Americans on his way to his podium.
The shooting went fast and furious. Shot from a step ladder, then was led by Secret Service to the front of his podium, and around back, and after that, moved to the sides, and back of the room to cover all angles, and ideas I had drawn up mentally in the three hours I was waiting for him to speak.
It’s always smart to have a plan. In this case, talking to the right people to get a little access went a long way.
Remember to always be respectful, tactful and polite. It will lead to to locations and information that can set you up to a nice moment, and photographic opportunity.
Here are some of the images I took for my very first Presidential Candidate rally.
The students were inspirational and eager to learn, and the competition was stiff. This years topic was FOUNDATION, and to be a part of this group, and mentor these military visual journalists from all branches of the service is truly a blessing.
Not only did we all grow together, we formed bonds that will be part of our lives. We have a new found love, friendship, and family.
If you ever get a chance to go to one of these workshops, I highly recommend it.
Lately I’ve found myself in a little of a slump since the Pacific Northwest has been covered with rain and clouds for the majority of the winter.
One day, sitting on my couch, a little lonely and depressed. I decided to finish reading my book by Ansel Adams and another one by Robert Frank.
Not only did I get engrossed into the black and white photography, I decided put away my huge DSLR and grab my Fuji X100s. It is sleek, and easy to handle. Everyday, even while on assignment with the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, I would stop and look at the world in Black and White and found a whole new love and appreciation for my photography.
Granted I put my camera in Black and White mode focusing on the red tint for clouds and added +2 on my EV and off I went.
Walking around Walla Walla, made me see people, and buildings in a whole new light. It brought love, and passion back to me, and I began seeing contrast, and shapes, moments.
Forcing myself to see in two tones made me in my own way a better photographer, and a gave me a greater appreciation for the colors, and light that surrounds us.
If you ever start getting bored and need a quick pick me up, I recommend shooting in black and white, and looking at shadows, and lights.
Here are some of my favorite images I have been capturing for the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin.
Working with the Union-Bulletin gives me the opportunity to shoot more than just one topic of imagery. There are days I can photograph sports, features, news, and art. So my passion is fulfilled and I am fortunate enough to get paid to do what I love.
Happy New Years everyone.
It’s been a while since I’ve updated this and need to get back at it.
These are a few of my BEST IMAGES OF 2015 that were taken at and for the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin.
All copyright belongs to the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin.
Feel free to check out my Twitter and personal website www.michaellopezphoto.com.